Thursday, November 22, 2007

Environmental Working Group’s SKIN DEEP cosmetic safety database


The recent media focus on toxic ingredients in cosmetics (such as lipstick) led me to learn more about this issue. It didn’t take long to find the SKIN DEEP database, part of the Environmental Working Group’s body of research.

This is an incredible resource and the ONLY one that I’ll talk about today. Since its launch in 2004, SKIN DEEP has performed safety ratings for over 25,000 personal care and cosmetic products. The database rates products on a scale of 0 to10 (0-2 low hazard, 3-6 moderate hazard, 7-10 high hazard). If a specific product or brand is not listed in the database, you can type in the ingredients instead.

So, I assessed all of the personal care products that my family uses and was very surprised to learn of the toxicity of so many of them! This knowledge has led our family to make many changes from soap to shampoo to toothpaste with our overall goal to stay within the low hazard range. For me, the easiest way to navigate the database was to scroll over the blue bar which highlights product categories.

If you are interested, I would be happy to share the products that we are using. This is a work in progress, we are still trying new things and are open for suggestions.

ENJOY this wonderful day!!!

(Of course Jon is cooking the TG meal which allows me the time to hang out and write to you!)

Monday, November 5, 2007


Choosing safe, non-toxic cleaning products for our homes has its challenges! It’s not readily available in our A&P or ShopRite, and shopping at Whole Foods or Mrs. Green’s gets expensive. Since we have made a commitment in our family to these products, I have been researching and trying to find the best products at the lowest price. Mostly, I shop at Mrs. Greens or on-line. Mrs. Green’s has sales on products all of the time. I walked in one day and all Seventh Generation products were ½ off!

Below are the products that our family is using right now. Please share your products and ideas so we can learn from each other. If anyone has experience with bulk buying of “green” cleaning products, let me know, maybe we can pool our resources.

By the way, our house has never smelled better!


I’ve been experimenting with many different products. Right now, I’m using:

1. Seventh Generation:
• Laundry detergent
• Automatic dishwashing powder
• Paper towels
• Toilet paper
Be sure to download the coupons from their website. (See links)
Where do I buy?: Mrs. Greens

2. Aubrey Organics:
These 2 products can be used to clean every single thing in your house from floors to countertops to laundry. The Liquid Sparkle Spray Cleanser is great on glass and counters.
1. Earth Aware Household Cleanser
2. Liquid Sparkle Spray Cleanser
Where do I buy?: On-line

3. Vermont Soap:
Similar to Aubrey, Liquid Sunshine can be used on everything, except for glass.
1. Liquid Sunshine
2. Yoga mat wash
Where do I buy? On-line


Clean & Green

This site features potions for homemade cleaning products. I discovered it a few years ago and I was quite ambitious there for a while, concocting my own brews in plastic bottles. Although I’ve gotten lazy and buy mostly “ready-made” products (see above), there are a few things that I still do:
1. I keep a few large boxes of baking soda and large bottles of white vinegar in the house, mostly as a natural drain cleaner. It really works!:
Drain Cleaner:
For slow drains, use this drain cleaner once a week to keep drains fresh and clog-free.
1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup white vinegar
1 gallon boiling water
1/2 a used lemon
Pour baking soda down drain/disposal, followed by vinegar. Allow the mixture to foam for several minutes before flushing the drain with boiling water.

More homemade cleaning recipe links (see link list on the right):

CHEC’s HealtheHouse (the resource for environmental health risks affecting your children)
eartheasy – (Non-Toxic Home Cleaning)
Harmonious Environment (Clean Mold in Your Shower with Non-Toxic Product)

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Hi friends and family... welcome to my blog!! I thought it would be fun to have a place to share "green ideas" about improving our health, our lives, our environment and our planet. My work with the Westchester County Global Warming Task Force has deepened my commitment and opened my eyes to the effects of climate change on our lives. I have been reading and researching for the better part of a year and each day I learn something new. One of the most important lessons is that there are many things that we can do to make a difference. And guess what, most of these changes are good for us! I know that so many of you share these concerns, which is why I thought we could help each other along the way. In the coming days, I'll share some of the changes we're making at home and I can't wait to hear what you're up to!

Here's to our health.